Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney, Elneny, Xhaka, Odegaard, Martinelli, Saka, Jesus
Subs: Turner, Cedric, Tomiyasu, Holding, Sambi, Vieira, Smith Rowe, Marquinhos, Nketiah
Arsenal came from behind to take all three points with a 2-1 win over Fulham at the Emirates this afternoon.
Mikel Arteta made two changes to the side that beat Bournemouth, with Kieran Tierney and Mohamed Elneny replacing Oleksandr Zinchenko and Thomas Partey who suffered knee and thigh injuries respectively in Friday’s training session.
The game began in cagey fashion, with both sides sounding each other out in possession, but a couple of mistakes at the back from Fulham handed us some momentum, without a clear cut chance.
Jesus provided a chance for Xhaka which the midfielder put over, Martinelli saw an effort deflected wide as the Gunners put on some pressure. Saka and Odegaard combined on the edge of the box, but a Fulham foot snuffed out a shooting chance.
Arsenal’s best chance came in the 33rd minute, when Saka found himself in the box after the ball broke kindly for him. He cut inside the defender, but former teammate Bernd Leno came out to make a good save.
Ben White picked up a 36th minute yellow card for a foul on some bloke, Jesus was booked just before the break for a dust-up with Pahlinha, and the teams went in level at the break.
There was no changes from either manager for the second 45, and the pattern of the game remained much the same in the early stages – lots of Arsenal possession but no clear chances.
Then things started to ramp up. Leno was forced into a diving stop from an Odegaard shot, and Xhaka set up Jesus for a chance which tested the former Arsenal keeper but was probably more tame than the Brazilian would have liked.
However, it was the visitors who went ahead moments later after a huge mistake from Gabriel who got caught on the ball on the edge of his own area. Mitrovic turned him and slotted the ball beyond Ramsdale. 0-1.
Mikel Arteta responded with a substitution, sending on Eddie Nketiah for Kieran Tierney, and in the 64th minute Arsenal found an equaliser. Saka brought the ball forward, played it to Odegaard whose shot took a deflection, wrong-footing Leno in the process to make it 1-1.
Fulham almost went ahead again from a corner they shouldn’t have had, Ramsdale saving brilliantly from a Mitrovic header before great defending from White prevented another effort from the rebound.
Martinelli fired a left footed shot which Leno was equal to, as tempers began to fray a little between the players. Reid picked up a yellow, before Nketiah fashioned a good shooting opportunity but curled a left-footed effort wide. Saka had a shot blocked, Odegaard almost found space to crack one, and great work from Gabriel and Martinelli provided a chance for Nketiah whose shot went straight at Leno.
Martinelli had a pop which deflected out for a corner, he then took another shot when he shiould have played it back into the box but that too went out for a corner. And from there, Arsenal scored again. The ball came in, it dropped down, and the Brazilian put it into the net. 2-1.
Arteta brought on Tomiyasu for Jesus, but Ramsdale was forced into action again from a free kick curled into the box, making a solid stop as Fulham looked to bounce back. Rob Holding replaced Odegaard as we went into 5 minutes of added time, which was made longer by a stoppage for a clash of heads.
In the end though, Arsenal did enough to take three points and continue the 100% start to the season.
At the final whistle, the DJ played Tequila, and everyone sang.